back to article Roboats hunt 'mines' and 'submarines' on Ex Unmanned Warrior

The Royal Navy's Unmanned Warrior roboat exercise is currently taking place off the coast of Scotland. Featuring about 40 autonomous systems – mostly seaborne, though including a handful of aerial vehicles as well – the exercise is partially running alongside the main Joint Warrior tri-Service exercise. The Unmanned Warrior …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    These devices are why it pointless to spend billions on 3 or 4 new nuclear subs

    The stupid cnuts at parliament (of all sides) just don't get it as usual.

    The bad guys will have 1000's of automated sub killers following & hunting down our brand new old tech.

    But I guess it's all about caring for the shareholders of the old tech builders and to hell with the people paying for it. We look hard and take your safety seriously. I call ballcocks.

    1. itzman

      Re: These devices are why it pointless to spend billions on 3 or 4 new nuclear subs

      ER, they already have thousands of e.g. sonobouys and various other detection bits operating for those subs. Putting them in autonomous craft scarcely makes any difference.

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: These devices are why it pointless to spend billions on 3 or 4 new nuclear subs

        > ER, they already have thousands of e.g. sonobouys and various other detection bits operating for those subs. Putting them in autonomous craft scarcely makes any difference.

        Even more, putting them in autonomous craft simply means loads more noise to sift through.

      2. druck Silver badge

        Re: These devices are why it pointless to spend billions on 3 or 4 new nuclear subs

        They used to chuck thousands of sonar bouys out the back of Nimrods to track Russian subs in the north sea. I company I worked for in the 90s was involved in the automated database that recorded where they were dropped. Deployment by little drones isn't going to give that sort of coverage, and the sonar bouys only work when they at depth in the "sound channel", so how they get there isn't important.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "The bad guys will have 1000's of automated sub killers"

      Given that the only countries in the world that are conducting these trials happen to be the ones with the biggest overall military budget, I think that the "bad guys" are going to have a bit of trouble fielding thousands of automated anythings.

      Unless we're talking about Russia or China, in which case, maybe.

      But North Korea ain't gonna be automating anything any time soon, that's or sure.

      1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: "The bad guys will have 1000's of automated sub killers"

        I think that the "bad guys" are going to have a bit of trouble fielding thousands of automated anythings.

        Equally, these "bad guys" don't have submarines or naval minelaying capability either. Those that do also have the electronic warfare systems to detect or jam communications with drones and robots.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "The bad guys will have 1000's of automated sub killers"

        >But North Korea ain't gonna be automating anything any time soon, that's or sure.

        True, but they've no shortage of volunteers who'd happily row a nuke across the Pacific.

        1. Alvar
          Mushroom

          Re: "The bad guys will have 1000's of automated sub killers"

          True, but they've no shortage of volunteers who'd happily *say they'd* row a nuke across the Pacific (before rowing south and defecting).

          FTFY

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "The bad guys will have 1000's of automated sub killers"

            >FTFY

            Don't kid yourself. The adoration amongst the faithful is as real as it's chilling.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: "The bad guys will have 1000's of automated sub killers"

        "North Korea ain't gonna be automating anything any time soon"

        Be that as it may, North Korea has demonstrated its ability to sink ships and submarines.

        The problem with high tech anything is that the means to take it down is quite frequently low tech and low cost.

        The winning formula for high tech _must_ be low enough cost to allow it to be cheaply deployed, or you have yet more F35s.

  2. TitterYeNot
    Facepalm

    Huh?

    "Also supporting Unmanned Warrior is SD Northern River, a Serco-operated auxiliary support ship"

    What, we've started outsourcing our armed forces now, to that lot, even if it's just logistical support?

    What could possibly go wrong...

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      Perhaps the Register would be interested in checking out who made the decision to award the contract, and what employment they went to after leaving public office?

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      'What could possibly go wrong...'

      Oddly, and I share your surprise, not a lot. These aren't logistics in the sense of RFA's refuelling ships at sea etc. basically they're used to transport personnel out to ships to save coming alongside, maintain bouys, act as vessels of interest to pick out of normal shipping etc. They took over from the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service in 2008 and so far appear to not have f***ed things up completely.

    3. John G Imrie

      Machiavelli on troops

      I say, therefore, that the arms with which a prince defends his state are either his own, or they are mercenaries, auxiliaries, or mixed. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. The fact is, they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe

      1. qwertyuiop
        Mushroom

        Re: Machiavelli on troops

        Broadly speaking I'd agree, but there are some notable exceptions. The Ghurkas have an outstanding record of service in the British Army going back almost 200 years, and the Légion étrangère (the vast majority of whose members aren't French) have an equally outstanding record in serving France.

        1. Kurt Meyer

          Re: Machiavelli on troops

          @ qwertyuiop

          "... the Légion étrangère (the vast majority of whose members aren't French)"

          I think you will find that nowadays the vast majority of the Légion are French.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and this

    while the government – and the MoD in particular – is keen to spur on the domestic drone industry.

    is why we can't have private radio control aircraft for much longer.

    Thanks EASA, no agenda then, just safety issues eh?

    I hope they find and prosecute that guy/girl/gust flying the plastic bag that hit that plane, could have given the pilot a nasty start. Much better to cripple all RC flying craft than have THAT happen again.

  4. GrumpyKiwi
    Gimp

    Bring back Lewis

    Oh look, yet another "well informed" Reg article on defence matters that would have benefitted from Lewis's input - especially since mine-hunting was his specialty at the RN.

    Instead we get... this.

  5. /dev/null

    " a self-flying helicopter from Leonardo, nee Westland..."

    Actually, in the case of the SW-4, it's Leonardo, nee PZL-Świdnik.

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